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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 03-02-2018, 10:43 AM   #1
stellata
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Default Scraping chanter reed for specific note

I am aware there are many other things one might do first to bring the reed and chanter to pitch and balance.
This is a specific question I've had ever since I've heard it said that scraping different parts of the reed will affect different notes. Generally take cane away from the lower part of the reed affects the lower hand and likewise scraping the top part of the reed affects the upper hand.

Question is if it is possible to scrape the reed in a way that will target just one note say E... And how would one go about doing this as at the same time it has also been said that the heart of the reed should not be scraped too much.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:09 PM   #2
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Scraping chanter reed for specific note

A Good place to start would be with some on-line tips, for example, Andrew Lenz:http://www.bagpipejourney.com/articl...rreedmod.shtml,

Check also Chris Apps' site:https://appsreeds.com/pages/reed-adj...-by-chris-apps
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:07 PM   #3
stellata
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Default Re: Scraping chanter reed for specific note

Great resources. I've read through what I could find online but there never seems to be guidance on how to scrape reeds for specific notes only. For example if F and High G are sharp but E is very flat for that particular reed.

For example in my case I have created an Uber soft volume plastic chanter reed for border pipes out of sheer necessity. However without fail all softer reeds whether cane or plastic have that flat E. Taping won't work and Short of drilling new holes in my chanter I am exploring modifying the reed itself.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:03 AM   #4
Green Piper
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Default Scraping chanter reed for specific note

A couple of things come to my my mind reading this:

1. Do you have a workable reed/chanter combo? Some brands of reeds go better in some chanters than others. What chanter are you playing? What reed brand are you using?

2. Sometimes even reeds of the same brand will behave differently to each other. Are you sure you donít have a dud reed?

3. Do you have any direct access to advice from an instructor or proficient local piper?

4. Are you tuning your chanter by mouthblowing it? If so, donít. Put the chanter in your pipe bag and tune it that way. Keep at least one drone going AND donít tune it using scales.

5. Do you have a tuning app/device? I use Braw (easily worth the cost). Calibrate to your low A, then play a tune such as Green Hills which includes all the notes. Donít look at the tuner while doing this, but after youíve finished. Then look at which notes are off........ balance Aís, etc.

Also make sure your reed is warmed-up before you attempt tuning otherwise you be chasing it all over the place.

Hope this helps.

Charlie
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:23 AM   #5
Steven Knox
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Default Re: Scraping chanter reed for specific note

I recall an article, or maybe multiple articles, on this topic in The International Piper, a short-lived piping journal from the '70's or '80's. Perhaps someone on this forum has back issues which they can search?
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:36 AM   #6
CalumII
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Default Re: Scraping chanter reed for specific note

As a guide, on a GHB reed the zone in which this effect occurs is about 6-7mm from the tip of the reed, with high A at the tip and low G at the other end of the 6-7mm zone.

It is possible to hit individual notes, with the caveat that you have to know the reed design well and have some experience doing it, and that it is easy to knacker the reed entirely in this way.

Plastic reeds have a habit of being very flat on the fifth degree of the scale; I'm afraid the correct answer to this really is to redesign the chanter, as scraping an already very thin material is tricky to say the least. I wouldn't recommend attacking the hole with a knife unless you are willing to accept the chanter may be destroyed in the process.
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:07 AM   #7
stellata
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Default Re: Scraping chanter reed for specific note

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
As a guide, on a GHB reed the zone in which this effect occurs is about 6-7mm from the tip of the reed, with high A at the tip and low G at the other end of the 6-7mm zone.

It is possible to hit individual notes, with the caveat that you have to know the reed design well and have some experience doing it, and that it is easy to knacker the reed entirely in this way.

Plastic reeds have a habit of being very flat on the fifth degree of the scale; I'm afraid the correct answer to this really is to redesign the chanter, as scraping an already very thin material is tricky to say the least. I wouldn't recommend attacking the hole with a knife unless you are willing to accept the chanter may be destroyed in the process.
That's great insight. Exactly what I was hoping to hear on. Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Scraping chanter reed for specific note

As Callum said, the bore design/ flaws will affect the intonation. Studying early drawings and plans for many woodwinds and pipes. Modern makers strive for what is best described as a pure bore, consistent shape over it's entire length. Where many earlier instruments by have almost stepped bores along their way...studies have proved this was not a mistake or manufacturing flaw, but a way to alter individual notes, adjust volumes of certain notes.
Scraping a reed in a specific area to improve intonation, could in theory have a similar effect, but in recent practice, if there are odd notes on all reeds..replace your chanter.
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